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The upgraded models offer keyboard support for the first time and work with the Apple Pencil. The announcement marks the first upgrade to the iPad Mini since the fall of 2015, and brings popular features of the iPad Pro to its smaller counterparts.
The new iPad Air and iPad Mini are now available to order and will hit shelves next week. The iPad Air starts at $499, and the Mini starts at $399. Models that enable cellular connectivity will run you about $130 extra.
The new iPad Air features an "ultra-thin 10.5-inch design" and offers a larger, more vibrant Retina display. It's similar to the iPad Pro model Apple introduced in 2017. The 7.9-inch iPad Mini features Apple's fastest A12 Bionic chip and offers the highest pixel density of any iPad, Apple said.
The iPad models have each gotten a camera boost, with improved low-light performance and advanced sensors for augmented reality experiences. Both models will also work faster and longer and have enhanced performance and longer battery life.
Apple is also keeping its standard 9.7-inch iPad in its tablet lineup. It keeps the same $329 starting price introduced about a year ago.
Apple announced long-awaited upgrades to its Mac product line in October, similarly refreshing smaller models like the MacBook Air and Mac Mini. Monday's announcement, combined with upgrades to the iPad Pro also announced in October, round out a busy few months of product announcements.
The company has raised eyebrows with higher-priced product lines, bumping some iPhones north of $1,000 a piece. the newest models of the iPad announced Monday boosts the price on that product line as well.
WATCH: Why is Apple so expensive?
Higher prices have helped to offset slowing hardware sales, though, as the company faces market saturation and global economic headwinds. In the face of weaker device sales, Apple has more heavily emphasized its services segment, which includes revenues from the App Store, Apple Music and Apple Care.
There could be even more hardware announcements coming from Apple. The company is expected to announce a new version of its wireless AirPods headphones with a wireless charging case and updated Macs soon. In addition, Apple has yet to launch AirPower, a wireless charging pad for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. AirPower was originally announced in September 2017.
At an Apple event scheduled for next Monday, it is expected to announce a video streaming service.
Here's the full release from Apple:
Cupertino, California — Apple today introduced the all-new iPad Air in an ultra-thin 10.5-inch design, offering the latest innovations including Apple Pencil support and high-end performance at a breakthrough price. With the A12 Bionic chip with Apple's Neural Engine, the new iPad Air delivers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability, and the advanced Retina display with True Tone technology is nearly 20 percent larger with over half a million more pixels.
Apple today also introduced the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, a major upgrade for iPad mini fans who love a compact, ultra-portable design packed with the latest technology. With the A12 Bionic chip, the new iPad mini is a powerful multi-tasking machine, delivering three times the performance and nine times faster graphics. The advanced Retina display with True Tone technology and wide color support is 25 percent brighter and has the highest pixel density of any iPad, delivering an immersive visual experience in any setting. And with Apple Pencil1 support, the new iPad mini is the perfect take-anywhere notepad for sketching and jotting down thoughts on the go. The new iPads are available to order starting today and in stores next week.
"iPad continues to provide magical new experiences for a growing range of uses where it is the absolute best device, from playing games in augmented reality to note-taking and drawing with Apple Pencil, from streaming HD movies and editing 4K films to learning to develop apps with Swift Playgrounds," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Today the iPad family takes two big leaps forward with an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Air that brings high-end size, features and performance at a breakthrough price, and a major upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which also brings Apple Pencil, Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip to the many customers that love its compact size."
Apple Pencil and iPad — The Perfect Pair
Apple Pencil opens up new creativity and productivity possibilities for iPad mini and iPad Air users, from drawing and writing down thoughts to marking up documents and retouching photos. The must-have tool among students, professionals and creatives delivers a remarkably fluid and natural drawing experience and provides pixel-perfect accuracy and low latency for activities within popular apps including Procreate, Notability, Pixelmator Photo (coming soon) and Microsoft Office.
Power Meets Portability with the A12 Bionic Chip
The Apple-designed Neural Engine of the A12 Bionic chip powers the next generation of apps and iPad workflows using advanced machine learning and Core ML for engaging AR experiences, photo-realistic effects in 3D games and stunning graphics performance within apps.
Staying connected is now easier and faster with iPad mini and iPad Air, featuring the same great Wi-Fi performance and Gigabit‑class LTE connectivity built into the most advanced iPad Pro models. With eSIM technology built in, users can easily connect to wireless data plans right from iPad when traveling in more than 180 countries around the world.
Advanced Cameras for Stunning Photos and Videos
With advanced front- and back-facing cameras, iPad mini and iPad Air take gorgeous photos and capture clear and stable 1080p HD videos. The upgraded cameras with exceptional low-light performance and HD video recording are great for document scanning and connecting with friends and family on Group FaceTime calls, and with advanced sensors, help enable immersive AR experiences.
More Than a Million Apps Just for iPad
The App Store is the best place to discover more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for iPad — from journaling with Apple Pencil to managing schedules and finances, editing photos, learning, connecting with friends and family, and playing games. Unlike stretched-out phone apps on other platforms, apps designed for iPad run and look great on every iPad.
iOS on iPad
iPad Air and iPad mini are perfect for staying productive on the go with iOS, helping users get things done faster with features like Siri Shortcuts, photo search and Voice Memos. The Dock provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen, and multitasking is easy with Split View and Slide Over. Drag and Drop makes moving images, text and files between apps easier than ever, and managing documents in the Files app is seamless and easy on iPad and across Apple devices.
Apple today announced an upcoming update to iWork for iOS, available next week, with enhanced integration of Apple Pencil including new animation options in Keynote that let users draw an animation path for any object, and an all-new user interface that enables easy implementation of build effects, including move, rotate and scale.
The Best, Most Complete iPad Lineup Ever
The new iPad Air and iPad mini join the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad and the most advanced iPad Pro models, offering the best, most innovative iPad lineup ever. The complete lineup now includes Apple Pencil support, best-in-class performance, advanced displays and all-day battery life for an experience unmatched by any other device. Whether customers prioritize portability, screen size, power or price, there's an iPad for everyone. Learn more about the iPad family at apple.com/ipad/compare.
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